They start ever so little and innocently and before you know it you have some enormously nagging problems that you simply must put an end too. I am referring to not one but TWO very undesirable behaviors that the 6 year old in the house has.
The first behavior is FEAR......
- Not just fear of dinosaurs like Madeline had when she was little.
- Not just fear of the dark like Joe had when he was little.
- Not just fear of having to take something out to the detached garage in the dark like I had when I was little.
- Not just fear that his wife will ask him to rototill the garden, which is what Brian has.
It is fear of EVERYTHING. No, really everything. Fear of getting her pictures taken at school. Fear of the vacuum. Fear of people looking at her and oh so many more fears.
Today they are practicing exiting out of the back of the school bus in case they would ever have an emergency and need to do that. She prayed intently about this upcoming experience last night. She broke into tears several times this morning just thinking about it. And I barely got her on the bus because of it. We do a lot of talking about the things she is afraid of, like the vacuum, I had her stand next to it and see how tall she was compared to it. And we talked about how I control the vacuum and how it cannot do anything to her. It actually went remarkably well. But how do you explain to her that people are not looking at her when in actuality they are, but they aren't? I have some compassion for this "irrational fear thing" because I am sure some of it is her age and I am also sure a lot of it is genetic because most of the other Baird children had fears too. But I have not had one have so many fears, and not only that, so many fears that I cannot talk her out of.
The second behavior is one we are ALL to blame for and I have NO compassion for. You see when you have 6 older, very impatient, siblings who babysit you often and will pay whatever sugary price must be paid for you to not bother them this could happen to you. When you have to have something to keep your mouth quiet as you sit through years of concerts, awards assemblies, dentist and doctor appointments and such for 6 older siblings this could happen to you. I am pretty sure these are just some of the reasons why #7 thinks there is only one food group and it is sugar.
I confess things are crazy at our house and the mom has not been the good old, "providing all the food groups" mom, she had been in the past. But I hit rock bottom (which is where you can finally admit) when Natalie woke up the other morning and said she was really hungry for breakfast. I started thinking to myself as I was getting breakfast what did she have for dinner? (The night before had been book club at our house among oh so many other things.) I sadly could not remember what she had for dinner so I asked her, "What did you have for dinner last night?" And smiling from ear to ear she declared, "cheesecake." And then she asked if she could have candy for breakfast. That's when I finally woke up and smelled the sugar.
So last night ,using a lot of spelling, I explained to the children and the husband that we were all going to deny Natalie s-u-g-a-r. It is going to be tough. They are going to have to stand their ground. But she is not allowed sugar until after dinner.....after 3 balanced meals are successfully in her body. She is going to be mad. Actually she already is. But we can do it. We will walk her nicely to her room if she starts to get mad about the loss of her love. We will not be embarrassed and give in if she throws a fit in a public place. We are going to be strong and help the 6 year old. This morning she asked 3 times for a cookie in her lunch and I said, "No" because she will just eat the cookie and brazenly return home with all the other items from lunch still in her lunchbox. No one has clued her in that you always dump your lunch at school so mom does not see that you did not eat it.
I hate that I helped create the "sugar monster" by using sugar to help her hurry to get ready or by using sugar to get her to do her jobs, or by using sugar to keep her quiet when I needed to talk to someone's school teacher but it is never too late to change and I am ready to face what I created. Who knows, maybe it will go so well we can work on my sugar problems next :)